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Thread: Remington 870 magizine tube retainer system

  1. #1

    Default Remington 870 magizine tube retainer system


    The Remington 870 currently has the magazine tube cap retaining system that utilizes a plastic plug with "teeth" that mates to "teeth" on the inside of the screw on metal end cap. My 870 that was purchased 14 years has this end cap retaining system. My much older 870 utilizes a small indented spring assisted metal ball located on the barrel ring that mates to the "dimples" on the perimeter of the end cap then used.

    Question: Does anyone know approximately when Remington started utilizing the indented spring assisted metal ball end cap retention system? What I'm actually trying to find out is if the 870 has always had some form of end cap retaining system - or was it an added feature incorporated along the way, and if so, when was it incorporated. Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    From the beginning they had the spring and detent ball. About 20 years ago they went to the plastic, internal retainer. Cheaper, I'm sure.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  3. #3


    Many thanks gunbugs for taking the time to respond. That is what I was hoping. I know the 870 came out in 1950 and I did find a parts list for a 1960 which shows the spring and detent ball just as you say.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011


    Yup, the ball detent system. I went through this last year setting up an 870 for around the house and around camp. I bought a 1958 wingmaster (with ball detent) and then came up with a shorter barrel for it. Thankfully, IIRC, the current wingmasters and current police model 870's still use the ball detent, while the plastic washer system is in use on all the other current production models.

    In general if you have the teeth and plastic washer system and want a magazine extension you'll have to file or dremel or whittle the teeth out of the OEM short magazine tube so ammunition can get past where the teeth used to be into extended portion of the magazine.

    I wanted an 18" smoothbore barrel with RemChoke system and ball detent. Last year I couldn't find one in current production on the Remington website. I watched gunbroker for about a month and never saw one for sale. I _suspect_ at some point in the production history of the 870 they might have maybe made a 18" barrel with interchangeable chokes, but I have never seen one.

    I finally put a couple chalk marks on the 30" bird barrel that came with my 870 and wandered around the house. I found for myself that going with a 20" barrel really wasn't going to slow me down much at all going through interior doorways.

    I bought this barrel: , 20", smoothbore, RemChoke system, rifle sights (common TLA DRS for Deer Rifle Sights) and wingmaster style ball detent system.

    If it says "express" in the description, no ball detent.

    I also got a Remington branded +3 magazine extension: , the magazine collar nut on the +3 I bought is compatible with the ball detent system on the barrel I bought.

    The +3 mag extension comes out about half an inch longer than the 20" barrel. With the rifled choke in the smooth barrel with the cheap slugs (not the fancy-schmancy saboted kind) I can get three slugs into 3" at 25 yards pretty darn quick. Using factory loaded #1 buckshot I got my tightest groups at 20 feet using a "full" choke.

    If I haven't anticipated your question I probably can't help you. Just about everything I know about the 870 is already here.


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